Nick Mullens is backup quarterback who has often played this season with a supporting cast dotted with fellow reserves. And that will continue Sunday when the 49ers visit the Rams. Mullens has endured a difficult season while filling in for Jimmy Garoppolo, and more unpleasantness could be on the horizon: The 49ers might be without two starting offensive linemen and their top two pass-catchers when they face the Los Angeles’ top-ranked defense, which ranks fourth in the league in sacks. Of particular concern? Mullens’ blindside probably won’t be protected by Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams, who remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list and only has an “outside chance” to play, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan. In addition, starting right guard Tom Compton suffered a concussion in practice Thursday, meaning rookie fifth-round pick Colton McKivitz will make his first career start. McKivitz, who has played 58 career snaps, figures to see plenty of All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who ranks third in the NFL with nine sacks. Mullens also won’t have All-Pro tight end George Kittle (foot) and Shanahan indicated wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (COVID) is unlikely to play. It’s not a great spot for Mullens. But he’s been in… Read full this story
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